Fortune Best Small Workplaces – #30 out of 100 in the US

Building on the
Power of Purpose

Sanguine Biosciences leverages employee feedback to ensure workers feel heard and are empowered by the company’s life-saving mission.

Waltham, Mass., pharmaceutical and biotech company sanguine bioscience’s chief executive officer Brian Neman (right) and chief product officer Gerald Lee (left).


AS THE FUTURE OF WORK CONTINUES TO evolve, employee engagement remains a challenge across industries. A 2022 Gallup poll shows that only 32% of employees are actively engaged at work. For Sanguine Biosciences, a Waltham, Mass., pharmaceutical and biotechnology company that helps pharmaceutical organizations accelerate their research programs by providing anonymized clinical data and specimens, a strong sense of purpose is a large part of why employee satisfaction and engagement is particularly high in its workforce. “Our teams feel valued for their contributions, and that’s very rewarding,” says Sanguine chief executive officer Brian Neman. Leadership at Sanguine recognizes that the first step in creating a great workplace is ensuring that employees feel heard. To that end, the company has made feedback and swift action a priority. “Our culture is one that values employees’ voices and rewards proactivity, which ultimately yields a strong sense of ownership by each individual,” says Sanguine chief product officer Gerald Lee. “Similarly, we take employee feedback very seriously and do what we can to initiate changes to meet their needs.” At Sanguine, feedback has been built into the workplace culture in several ways. Managers request and give feedback frequently, including in regular one-on-one meetings and performance reviews, and employees are encouraged to take advantage of review and survey tools.


Neman also emphasizes the role that opportunities for collaborative professional development play in creating a great workplace. To foster these meaningful connections, leaders and managers work to connect with employees on projects that offer significant growth experience. Sanguine’s more than 100 employees, 95% of whom are remote, have many opportunities to work with mentors and coaches and are regularly invited to join or lead special projects and work directly with leadership. For example, in the absence of a fully developed product team, Neman and cofounder Gerald Lee established the Product Strategy committee, which empowers early-career employees to brainstorm and exercise their creativity in a forum where Neman and Lee provide direct feedback and coaching. While employees enjoy a wide range of benefits like flexible time off programs, company equity, and a generous parental leave policy, the company’s purpose is what many employees appreciate most about working at Sanguine. “What we offer is a dynamic, high-growth environment with work that is rewarding and meaningful,” Neman says, “whether that’s interfacing with patients or being a part of high-impact research that can truly help save lives.”